As Canada builds its battery metals industry, can it compete with the world’s behemoths? – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – April 26, 2022)

Canada’s battery metals sector is showing signs of life, but impediments remain to this country gaining meaningful global market share in an industry dominated by China. Over the past few months, Canada has landed its first electric-car battery plant, and a new deep-pocketed owner has taken possession of Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining assets, which the province is hoping will supply battery-grade nickel.

The federal government delivered another potential boost to the battery sector when it said in its 2022 budget that it is prepared to spend $3.8-billion to fund the critical minerals industry over the next eight years.

Despite these developments, Canada lacks much of the infrastructure it would need in order to compete with the world’s battery behemoths. Some of the metals central to the battery industry, such as nickel, are already mined in large quantities here.

But other battery metals, such as cobalt and lithium, are produced domestically in much smaller amounts, or not at all. And this country currently doesn’t have any refineries capable of processing mined metals into the refined product the industry requires.

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